If it's your first time buying Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, it can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to buy Bitcoin since there are more choices than ever.
In this post you’ll learn the 4 ways to buy Bitcoin, how to choose the right platform, how to avoid hidden fees, and more. Let’s jump right in.
There are four main ways to buy Bitcoin in Canada:
- An Online Crypto Exchange or Broker (Newton, Shakepay, Coinbase, etc)
- A Bitcoin ETF in your Stock Brokerage (Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade, etc)
- A Bitcoin ATM in Person
- Have a person or friend send you Bitcoin
We’ll cover the first two choices and the pros and cons of each since they’re the most popular
Buying Bitcoin on a Crypto Exchange
Purchasing Bitcoin on a cryptocurrency exchange is the most common method.
There are countless crypto exchanges and brokers in Canada and many of them are beginner friendly and offer a variety of altcoins as well.
In addition, most of them let you withdraw your Bitcoin which means you can have full ownership of your funds and become your own bank. That also comes with more responsibility such as learning how to store Bitcoin safely.
Pros & Cons of Crypto Exchanges:
Best Canadian Crypto Exchanges
If you want to buy Bitcoin directly there are many crypto exchanges in Canada. After comparing 18 platforms these are the top places for buying Bitcoin cheaply and easily:
How to Sign Up For a Crypto Exchange
Signing up for a Canadian crypto exchange is similar to opening a bank account or stock brokerage account. You need to verify your identity, provide personal info and the process takes 5-15 minutes. This is required by-law due to Canadian laws and regulations.
Once your account is verified, which is usually instant but can also take a few days, you can deposit money. Many places let you deposit CAD with e-transfer which are free and instant.
Storing Your Bitcoin
Once you buy Bitcoin on a crypto exchange you have to decide how to store it. You can leave it on the exchange but that's not recommended for large amounts. Exchanges are big targets for hackers. The safest way to store your Bitcoin is in a crypto wallet. The safest type of wallet is a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano.
Buying a Bitcoin ETF
Canada has approved at least 6 Bitcoin ETFs and all you need is a stock brokerage account.
The main advantage here is you can put Bitcoin ETFs in your TFSA or RRSP. You can't do this when buying Bitcoin directly. This method is also easier for beginners since you don't have to worry about wallets or how to store your Bitcoin safely.
The downside is you need to pay management fees to the fund and you don't own the Bitcoin directly. You can't transfer your Bitcoin to other wallets, you just have exposure to the price.
This video explains everything about how to buy crypto in your TFSA:
Pros & Cons of Bitcoin ETFs:
Bitcoin ETFs in Canada
At the time of this writing, 6 Bitcoin ETFs have been approved in Canada:
Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF
CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF
3iQ Coinshares Bitcoin ETF
Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF
Purpose Bitcoin ETF
Evolve Bitcoin ETF
Best Stock Brokerages
To buy any of the Bitcoin ETFs above, you need an online stock brokerage. There are many choices in Canada but these are my top two recommendations for low fees and good features:
How to Sign Up For a Stock Brokerage
Signing up for a stock brokerage is similar to opening a bank account. You will need to verify your identity and provide personal info and the process takes 5-15 minutes. This is required by-law due to Canadian laws and regulations.
Once your account is verified, which can take a few hours or a few days, you can deposit money by connecting your bank account.
There are many ways to buy Bitcoin, but the most popular way is to use a centralized crypto exchange or broker. If you want to learn how to buy Ethereum, Cardano or other cryptocurrencies, read my guide on how to buy any altcoin you want.
It is perfectly legal to buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in Canada. The Government of Canada's website says, “You can use digital currencies to buy goods and services on the Internet and in stores that accept digital currencies. You may also buy and sell digital currency on open exchanges.”
Yes, taxpayers are required to pay tax on Bitcoin and digital currencies in Canada. The CRA published a crypto tax guide with more info. A taxable event includes:
- Trading or exchanging one cryptocurrency for another
- Converting cryptocurrency to fiat currency
- Using crypto to buy goods or services
- Selling or gifting cryptocurrency
You can purchase Bitcoin for $1 or any amount you wish because one Bitcoin can be divided into 100,000,000 Satoshis. However, you may encounter a minimum limit when you're purchasing Bitcoin on an exchange.